Crystal Mountain Avalanche Videos | Heli Footage of Debris and Patroller Video During Control Work

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Incredible helicopter footage of Crystal Mountain Avalanche debris and High Campbell Chair!

Video from KIRO7 news helicopter flyover on 3/11/14. video: KIRO 7 News


Following the news that a chairlift had been destroyed by an avalanche in Washington state more pictures and footage have begun to emerge. The clear weather in the days following the avalanche has helped showcase the destructive power of this slide.

The chair was a Washington favorite and Crystal Mountain has been flooded with questions about buying a chair from the downed chairlift. Crystal has received so many requests that they have issued a special statement regarding the chairs:

“The demand has been overwhelming, but right now is not the time. We are still dealing with the aftermath of this loss, and are working on plans to rebuild. We have always sold the chairs and other parts of lifts that have been decommissioned in the past, so the time will come but we won’t be selling them anytime soon.”

If any Washington locals are interested in potentially acquiring a chair from the legendary High Campbell lift, please email

Video footage shot during control work Monday evening

Around 25 seconds into the shot you can HEAR the lift being taken out. Don’t forget, the video is HD!

Footage captured by Crystal Mountain Ski Patroller Andy Harrington during the control work! video: youtube/Kim Kircher


Following the news that a chair lift had been destroyed in Washington, more videos and photos have emerged that show the sheer scale of the avalanche. The clear weather the day following the slide was perfect for showcasing the destructive power of the slide.

The dedication to safety that Crystal Mountain ski patrol has shown is immense; the slide was triggered immediately following heavy rain without regard to damage to infrastructure. The focus of the resort and staff following the incident have been on ensuring safety, as opposed to capitalizing on the attention from the media.

The avalanche was triggered as part of control work Monday evening. A three-woman team of crystal mountain patrollers, now known as the ‘three shivas’, detonated a 25lb explosive charge in a zone known as ‘the throne’ a long traverse skiers right of the High Campbell chair. The throne is situated directly above the base of the High Campbell lift, so when it slid large, it was in the barrel of the gun.


More Photos:


The three shivas – patrollers Megan, Kim, and Michelle. photo: Kim Kircher

throne-avalanche1Clear view of the slidepath with downed chairs in the foreground. photo: Kim Kircher


Different view of Crystal Mountain avalanche, the top of High Campbell chair is on the ridge in the right of the photo, the base is just outside of the bottom right corner. photo: Kim Kircher

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4 thoughts on “Crystal Mountain Avalanche Videos | Heli Footage of Debris and Patroller Video During Control Work

  1. Next time it rains like that I bet they close the mountain for a couple days. Two or three days of the hill being closed would be cheaper then a new chair lift purchase. The rain events are going to start happening a lot more and the ski hills are going to have to close for a few days after each one to avoid setting off very large destructive avalanches. What I am saying is that avalanche would most not likely have happened if they had closed that area or the hill for two days, waited for a couple days for the snow to settle and went back up there and threw that same charge in the same location.

    1. Thumbs down Todd! Time does not necessarily equal stability, (a great misconception, similar to “that person skied it so it must be safe”) yes the snowpack settles but there are too many other factors at play to make such a broad statement such as the avalanche would most likely not have happened if they had waited. A chairlift is replaceable and cheaper than a human life.

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